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Special Olympic athletes win big in Saguenay

Two area athletes brought home an impressive haul of six medals from the Special Olympic Quebec Winter Games, which took place in the Saguenay region from March 2 to 5. Over 500 athletes, coaches, and accompanying individuals took part in the Games, including Dewittville’s Meghan Condie who won five medals in snowshoeing, and Jason Ford of Saint-Anicet, whose curling team was awarded a silver medal.

Condie is an accomplished swimmer with an impressive medal collection to her name from past Summer Game experiences; but this was her first time competing at the winter games and only her second snowshoeing competition. She topped the podium in the individual 100-metre and 400-metre races and won a bronze in the 200-metre event. She was chosen to run in the anchor position for the 100-metre and 400-metre relay races, where her team finished in third and first position respectively.

 

A man, with on silver medal, and woman, wearing one bronze and two gold medals, stand next to each in a classroom.
Athletes Jason Ford and Meghan Condie returned from the Special Olympic Quebec Winter Games having won a total of six medals The Games took place in Saguenay from March 2 to 5 PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

“I practiced and practiced in my backyard,” says Condie, when asked how she took so quickly to snowshoeing. She says the best part of her experience was being selected as a flag bearer during the opening ceremonies for the Suroît delegation. The opening ceremonies included appearances by Olympic medalists, including speed skater Marianne Saint-Gelais, and freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau, who is an ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Condie says she had a good time, though it was cold, and while she didn’t see any whales, she did enjoy a Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean tourtière. She says she hopes to qualify for the nationals in snowshoeing. In the meantime, she is preparing for the start of her competitive swim season, and training in bowling and track and field, her other summer sports.

Unlike Condie, these were not the first Winter Games for Ford, who has been curling for a long time. His team played a total of six matches over two days at the Kenogami Curling Club in Jonquière to earn the silver medal. “I am happy to win my medal,” says Ford. “My team is called the Régates du Suroît,” he adds.

Ford is also a proud Summer Games medalist in track and field, but he says he prefers the Winter Games. “It’s cold on the ice,” he says, noting he especially enjoys sweeping and his shoes that let him slide on the icy playing surface.

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